Philadelphia Contracts With Motorola for New Citywide Radio System

The City of Brotherly Love soon will have a $51 million radio communications system that links its police and fire departments and other agencies to each other and a common network infrastructure.

Philadelphia's new radio network will be an 800 MHz Astro system by Motorola Inc. The system will include two 15-channel systems positioned side-by-side and connected via a Motorola Smartzone switch. The switch automatically passes communications from one site to another as users travel throughout the city.

When a user presses the radio's push-to-talk button, the system's trunking technology automatically assigns the talker a channel and then makes that same channel available to other users as soon as the communication is complete.

The "simulcast" technology allows for communications from every site of the system at the same time and ensures 95 percent coverage from portable radios carried by police officers on a beat or within city buildings. The system includes 10 sites and can operate in either digital or analog mode.

All city agencies will share a common infrastructure, but each department will be able to communicate independently and privately, and if an emergency occurs, users can be organized into more than 2,000 talk groups.

Motorola will supply the city with nearly 5,000 portable radios and 1,800 mobile radios, allowing Philadelphia to join other major cities, including Baltimore, Cleveland and San Diego, that use similar technologies.

Featured

  • Defense
    Soldiers from the Old Guard test the second iteration of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) capability set during an exercise at Fort Belvoir, VA in Fall 2019. Photo by Courtney Bacon

    IVAS and the future of defense acquisition

    The Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System has been in the works for years, but the potentially multibillion deal could mark a paradigm shift in how the Defense Department buys and leverages technology.

  • Cybersecurity
    Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lora Ratliff)

    Mayorkas announces cyber 'sprints' on ransomware, ICS, workforce

    The Homeland Security secretary announced a series of focused efforts to address issues around ransomware, critical infrastructure and the agency's workforce that will all be launched in the coming weeks.

Stay Connected